Roundup: TikTok banned in the US?, Tabcorp boss quits, Warburton meets V’landys

TikTok Logo - 10 Jan 2024

Paramount Global sells stake in Viacom18, War on fact-checkers, Tom Elliott, ABC Radio Sydney, Kyle Sandilands, Warren Tredrea

Business of Media

TikTok finds itself at the centre of growing US-China tensions

Legislators in Washington have voted overwhelmingly to approve a bill that would ban app stores in the United States from distributing TikTok unless its Chinese owner divests itself of the popular video-sharing platform, due to growing fears Beijing could easily access the personal information of 170 million Americans, reports Nine Publishing’s Karen Maley.

The House of Representatives’ move to ban TikTok reflects fears that ByteDance, its owner, could be forced to hand over US users’ data to Beijing because of a Chinese national security law that requires companies to provide information if ordered to by authorities. There are also fears the short-video app could be used to shape US public opinion.

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See Also: Albanese confirms “no plans” to block TikTok in Australia

TikTok made them famous. What if it all goes away?

Kim Hale started posting videos of her hip-hop routines on TikTok three years ago, when she was in her early 50s. She danced professionally in her youth, she said, but it had been a decade since she’d trained. Now here she was, a woman in midlife moving with ease and confidence for a potential audience of millions, report The Wall Street Journal’s Sara Ashley O’Brien, Ashley Wong, and Lindsey Choo.

“People were like, ‘get it, Grandma,’” said Hale, 56. She doesn’t have grandchildren, but her white hair, contagious smile and choreography have helped her stand out. She’s built a following of 709,000 and a list of paid brand partners that includes L’Oréal, HomeGoods and Tylenol. “It’s given me visibility that I wouldn’t have otherwise, especially as a dancer over 50,” she said.

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Paramount Global sells stake in Viacom18 for $517M

Paramount Global has agreed to sell its 13 percent stake in Indian media company Viacom18 to Reliance Industries, reports The Hollywood Reporter’s Caitlin Huston.

The sale price is approximately $517 million, according to a new securities filing. Reliance, a multinational conglomerate, is already the majority shareholder in Viacom18.

Existing properties at Viacom18 include streaming service JioCinema and channels including Colors, Comedy Central and MTV.

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Threats, lawsuits, smears: How the global war on fact-checkers and misinfo experts came to Australia

Tim Graham remembers when misinformation was a niche subject. In the decade or so since he started his career, the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) associate professor’s work on conspiracy groups, online hate speech and social media bot networks has made him one of Australia’s leading misinformation experts at a time when people were increasingly interested in the topic. reports Crikey’s Cam Wilson.

“My work kind of grew and so did the relevance of it. It became more publicised, and started to attract the media and politicians,” Graham told Crikey.

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Tabcorp boss quits immediately for ‘offensive language’ breach as board starts a replacement hunt

Tabcorp boss Adam Rytenskild has resigned for “using inappropriate and offensive language” in the workplace – allegedly calling someone a “useless c…” or words to that effect – with his shock exit set to cost up to $10m in lost shares and options, reports The Australian’s Glen Norris.

The Tabcorp board said it considered the language to be inconsistent with Rytenskild’s continued leadership of the organisation.

The gambling giant’s chief executive said he didn’t recall making the alleged comment “and it’s not language I would usually use”.

“But I have regrettably agreed to resign,” Rytenskild said.

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Life after Neil Mitchell: Tom Elliott helps 3AW grow its share

In 3AW’s first radio ratings survey without Neil Mitchell in three decades, the station has lifted its overall share in the Melbourne market, with his successor Tom Elliott besting Mitchell’s final survey, reports Nine Publishing’s Calum Jaspan.

Elliott’s first survey as Mornings host netted a 16.8 per cent share, up from 16.3 in the final survey of 2023, according to figures from ratings agency GfK in the period from January 14 to February 24.

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ABC Radio Sydney presenter shake-up fails to lift its ratings

A presenter shake-up at ABC Radio Sydney has failed to deliver the public broadcaster an early ratings bump this year, its share of listeners having dropped to seventh place in the local radio market as 2GB once again leads the pack, reports Nine Publishing’s Calum Jaspan.

The ABC fell to a 5.4 per cent share overall in the first ratings survey of 2024, which covered January 14 to February 24, according to ratings agency GfK, down from 6 per cent. While new Breakfast host The Chaser’s Craig Reucassel was able to lift its market share slightly to 7.9 per cent in the morning slot (from 7.8 per cent), it wasn’t enough to protect the ABC’s overall daily ratings.

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‘A lot of freaks down there will grow to love us’: Kyle Sandilands says of broadcasting in Melbourne

Kyle Sandilands and Jackie ‘O’ Henderson have declared they will be the no. 1 breakfast show in Melbourne, reports News Corp’s Jackie Epstein.

The powerhouse Sydney pair officially enter the breakfast radio market here on April 29 with Sandilands saying he expects the “freaks down there” will grow to love them.

“I don’t think it’ll be straight away, it’ll take a few surveys to crack them realistically so I don’t think it’ll be immediate, but by the end of the year yes,’’ Sandilands told the Herald Sun.

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Sports Media

Channel Seven boss meets V’landys about joining ARL Commission

Australian Rugby League commission chairman Peter V’landys and James Warburton discussed a future role as a commissioner for the outgoing Seven West Media chief executive at a meeting this week, reports Nine Publishing’s Michael Chammas.

In a move that could have significant ramifications for the game’s next broadcast deal, negotiations over which are expected to formally begin within the next 18 months, V’landys has opened the door for the Channel Seven boss to take a lead role in the talks.

This masthead can reveal Warburton, who is a lifelong Canterbury Bulldogs fan, met V’landys in Sydney earlier this week, where the prospect of Warburton joining the commission was floated.

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Former Port Adelaide captain and presenter Warren Tredrea loses unfair dismissal case against Channel Nine

Former footballer and Nine News Adelaide sports presenter Warren Tredrea has lost his unfair dismissal court case against his former employer, reports the ABC.

Tredrea sued Channel Nine South Australia, claiming the network unfairly terminated his contract in January 2022 because he refused to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The former Port Adelaide captain and premiership player was seeking almost $6 million in lost wages.

The Federal Court dismissed Tredrea’s case and awarded costs to Channel Nine.

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